How I Write – Shannon Sweetnam

When/how/where do you write?
If I’m at home, I write in the dining room which is my office. See the picture below. There’s usually a St. Bernard in there. It looks kind of lonely without her. I also dictate on my phone when I am walking my dog. I got a great draft of a blog about playing polo just this morning on the lovely walk through the woods.
Do you eat while you write? If so, what?
That’s funny. I eat when I do anything. First of all there’s coffee. Then there’s chocolate. Then there’s grilled cheese. Lemon squares. French apple cake. Whatever I’ve happened to bake that week.
Do you play music while you write? If so, what? 
No music. Nada. I prefer dead silence.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading a primer on how to play polo because I’ve just picked up the sport. I’m already terribly addicted. I’m also reading Mavis gallant’s From the 15th District, Emily Saint John Mandel’s Station 11, and a Berlitz Portuguese textbook because I am volunteering for the Olympics in Brazil this August.


Shannon Sweetnam is a Chicago-based fiction writer whose stories have won numerous awards and been published in a number of journals. She is also Director of marketing and strategy at Momentum Spectrum, a boutique ad agency. She is at work on a flash fiction collection and a number of children's picture books. In her spare time, she plays competitive women's hockey and polo and creates fantastic messes in her kitchen.